Paying It Forward

Today I paid it forward for the first time.  I say the first time because I liked it and I want to do it again, within reason.

I can’t really say why I did it or what needed to come together for me to finally just state, “I want to pay for these people’s order,” which was very small, just over $6.00.  Of course I am basically unemployed and about to lose my home, but still have a few dollars in the bank, so I really am po’.  But if I can afford to buy a couple of instant lottery tickets, I can afford to buy someone’s groceries, within reason.

I went up to the corner store to turn in my big lotto winnings of $5.00.  Kept $1.00 and asked for two more $2.00 tickets.  As I was purchasing them, there was a father with his young children that were placing things on the counter.  They did not speak English.  I don’t know if I was feeling overly emotional about what had just transpired the previous day in Boston, but I just had the urge to do it.  I felt so sorry for those boys uncle speaking to the news about the shame they brought.  I remembered a conversation that I had with a Middle Eastern gentleman, a customer, on the phone soon after 9/11.  He said that people were being very nasty towards him after the attacks, he being Muslim as well.  I recalled how my mother told me how some woman paid for her groceries a few days after my brother was almost murdered.  She didn’t know my mother, but this woman, heavy with child, told the cashier that she would pay for her groceries because she wanted to “pay it forward.”  She had no idea how this kindness would mean so much to my mother at this very dark time in her life. 

People should know, being people and all, that most of us are going through many trials and tribulations that we don’t want others to know about so they won’t feel sorry for us or treat us differently, but it would be nice if everyone thought of others more often, even if they can’t afford to pay for their groceries, maybe hold a door open, thank someone who is not expecting it or just see what you can do to make a difference for the better for someone. 

I couldn’t and wouldn’t begin to know what is in the mind of a killer of any kind.  Someone who wants to hurt others.  They must feel real bad about themselves but why?  We need to all be willing to kill each other’s inner demons with kindness.  Wouldn’t it be cool if someone was about to commit a deadly act and someone else diffused it with an act of kindness?  This is really how the world works, within reason.  Think about it.

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